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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  December 14, 2011 7:00pm-7:30pm EST

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start and has the latest. >> scott, cbs news has learned that the fraud is financial, and it's associated with a &m officials. university did not comment tonight on the latest blow to the school with a proud history of achievement and honor. there are now three investigations of the university and hazing within the storied marching 100 band. this week, tallahassee police charged three students in connection with the battery and hazing of freshman clarinet player bria hunter. she claims her leg was broken in an initiation ceremony for a band click called the red dog order. hunter's lawyer is b.j. bernstein. >> this is nothing more than a gang, a gang of young people that has a form of initiation which essentially is a beat-down. >> reporter: the red dog order was formed by florida a & m marching members from atlanta. university alumnus kofi himmingway played for the
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marching 100 and stays in close contact with current and former band members. how does a group that started as a sort of hometown club, essentially, wind up conducting such, apparently, violent hazing rituals? >> unfortunately, it's kind of like that book "lord of the flies." you know, where you have young people, young minds that a lot of times are unmonitored and unsupervised. >> reporter: students have told cbs news they believe 26-year-old drug major robert champion died after a red dogs hazing ritual called crossing bus. along the way what happens? >> they're punching you, they're beating you. >> reporter: all the way to the back of the bus. >> all the way to the back. >> reporter: do you think this is what happened to robert champion? >> i do think-- if he was on the bus and that's where they found him, yes. >> reporter: now, police are still investigating robert champion's death and have not said what the exact cause is, scott. >> pelley: anna there was another development today. in georgia the dekalb county
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school district in atlanta decided to suspend band activities at two dozen high schools. what can youically us about that? >> reporter: scott, officials suspended band performances for what they call inappropriate physical activity, but there are few details available right now. however, there are lots of connections between decab county high schools and florida a & m university. bria hunter and robert champion both graduated from the same dekalb county high school. >> pelley: in the race for the republican presidential nomination, it's just under three weeks to the iowa caucus, and as the time grows short, the knives get long. mitt romney and newt gingrich, the front-runners, went after each other today. first we'll go to romney. he talked with jan crawford here in new york today. jan. >> reporter: well, scotland, throughout the campaign, romney generally hasn't responded to his republican rifles. he's kept his focus on president obama. but he's now taking aim at newt
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gingrich and where he used repeatedly in our interview today was unreliable. >> newt gingrich has been an unreliable leader in the conservative movement hi, how are you? >> reporter: republicans doubting romney's conservative credentials have recently turned to gingrich as the true conservative. today, romney went on the offensive. >> i think people get to know that an individual like myself who is now been a governor, served, has a record, is a person who has the kind of consistency on conservative principles that distinguish me from someone like our speaker, speaker gingrich, who has taken extraordinarily unusual positions with regards to to calling the medicare reform plan a right-wing social engineering plan, suicide he's called it. this is-- this is a person who has a very questionable record when it comes to leading conservative principles. >> reporter: how would you be different as president? >> well, i think government is way too large.
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>> reporter: what do you think speaker gingrich thinks? >> i think speaker gingrich has lived in washington the last 30 years. he went to washington to do good and stayed to do well. >> reporter: by "well" romney is referring to the millions gingrich made, including from freddie mac. >> he's a wealthy man, a very wealthy man. if you have a half a million dollar purchase from tiffany's, you're not a middle class american. >> reporter: romney has said gingrich should give the $1.6 million he made advising freddie mac back to the taxpayers, prompting gingrich this week to take a shot at romney for his work at the investment firm bain capital. >> if governor romney would like to give back all the money he earned bankrupting companies and laying off employees over his years at bain, i would be glad to listen to him. >> reporter: that is a democratic party line of attack on you. >> doesn't the speaker understand not all businesses succeed? but fortunately, most of them were able to be successful, so
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i'm proud of that record. and, frankly, very surprised that he would attack conservativism. he would attack free enterprise. he would attack capitalism. this is a party that believes in free enterprise. >> reporter: is he in the wrong party? >> well, it depends on the day. i just think he's been unreliable in his support of conservative principles. >> reporter: of course, some republicans say romney hasn't always supported conservative principles, either. but, scott, he told me that he had learned from his experiences and he changed his mind when he learned that he was wrong, and that unlike gingrich, he's been consistently conservative now for years. >> pelley: two wealthy men calling each other rich. jan, thanks very much. newt gingrich agreed to speak with us in an interview but his campaign says it's still working on the timing. gingrich was in iowa today where dean reynolds caught up with the s in ign. dean. ca reporter: scott, the man who mitt romney find to be an unreliable leader of the conservative movement was all smiles today in iowa, insisting
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that the attacks on him say much more about his rivals than they do about himself. the former speaker said recent polling here in iowa and nationally show him doing pretty well and he swatted away the criticism of his conservative movement. said recent, he said, of those making the charges is whether dople really want to vote for someone who is not telling the truth. >> i have a 90% american conservative voting record for 20 years. i'm the only person in your lifetime to help balance the budget for four straight years. i passed the only major entitlement reform-- welfare-- two out of three people went back to work or went to school. for somebody to suggest that's not a conservative voting record, i mean, at some point it becomes a joke. i'll let you go to them and ask them where are their new ideas? where are their new solutions? that's between you and them. i'm not running the campaigns. askreporter: while those wational polls also show gingrich running behind president obama, he said at this
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time back in 1980, 1979, they also showed ronald reagan running behind president carter before reagan went on to win the presidency. as he put it, scott, "i like where we are now." >> pelley: countdown to iowa. with all the mudslinging today teffs easy to lose sight of the issues. we wanted to stop for a second and tell you about one urgent issue that will face whoever wins the election, and that is the reform of medicare. both gingrich and romney want to revolutionize the way the program works. romney would give seniors are vouchers to help them buy health insurance from private companies or from the government. gingrich would allow seniors to stay in medicare just as it is or give them similar vouchers to buy private insurance. the goal for both is to drive down the cost for taxpayers. one thing both romney and gingrich agree on is their desire to repeal president obama's health care reform law. much of it hasn't taken effect yet, but one significant part
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has started, that part that allowed young people to stay on their parents' health insurance until they're 26 years old. we wondered whether it's working. we asked wyatt andrews to find out. >> reporter: caryn powers is one of those young adults who already benefits from the health care reform act. at 24 years old, she has crohn's disease, an immune disorder that attacks the stomach and intestines. >> it's like having the stomach flu but it's 100 times roars won't caryn's medicine alone costs more than $3,000 a month. if she could not stay on her parents' health insurance, she says, she'd be bankrupt and unable to work as a nurse. >> if i had to go off my parents' policy, i would not be able to have the medications that i need, the treatment that i need. i'd be unable to go to the doctors. i would be very, very sick. >> reporter: the administration says 2.5 million young adults now have insurance
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thanks to their parents and to health care reform. painter rights advocates like ron pollack of the nonprofit group families u.s.a. call this an accomplishment because young adults will 19-25, are the most likely not to have health insurance. >> this is a benefit for those people who are struggling to find a job or who are in an entry-level job and they can't pay for health insurance and now they have the ability to stay on their parents' policy until their 26th birthday. >> reporter: as life saving as this was for caryn, the young adult provision not free. last year, the administration itself projected that this one benefit alone could increase group insurance premiums nationwide by up to 1.2%. high-cost projections are precisely why republican candidates like mitt romney say ending the health care act is the first thing they will do. >> and if i'm president, on day one, i will take action to stop obama care nonetheless tracks
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and i will get it repealed. ( applause ). >> reporter: so the announcement of this early success was in part a political answer to the republicans, that the more people come to depend on health care reform, scott, the tougher it will be to repeal it. >> pelley: wyatt, thanks very much. the president and the first lady flew to fort bragg in north carolina today to mark the end of the war in iraq. america's military families have been under a lot of stress during nearly a decade of war in iraq and afghanistan. a lot of troops have been deployed three, four, even five times. mr. obama took note of their sacrifice. >> so as your commander in chief and on behalf of the grateful nation, i'm proud to finally say these two words-- and i know your families agree-- welcome home. ( cheers and applause ) welcome home. welcome home.
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welcome home. >> pelley: the last american troops are due to leave iraq by the end of this month. some americans falling on hard times have left their homes and moved to the desert. we'll take you there. love and marriage-- they're not going together as often as they used to. and jewelry once worn by oft-married elizabeth taylor sells for a fortune when the cbs evening news continues.
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>> pelley: turns out marriage in this country is not as popular as it once was. the pew research center said today 51% of american adults are married. that's the lowest rate on record. the median age for first-time brides is about 26 and a half, for groomsit's close to 29. we asked bill whitaker to find out why fewer of us are saying "i do." >> reporter: l.a. couple katherine krug, 29, and howie diamond, 32, met three years ago. they've been living together seven months and see no need to get married. >> we're in such a great place. we're basically married. why take that extra step? >> reporter: according to the pew study, among adults 25-34,
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krug and diamond's age group, only 44% were married in 2010. in 1960, 82% of that group were married. for younger adults, the drop was more dramatic. last year, just 9% of 18-24-year-olds were married, down from 45% in 1960. darcy martin could have stepped out of the pages of the study. her parents were married right out of high school. she's getting married for the first time at age 33. >> i'm glad things worked out the way they did. i'm glad i have the experience and perspective that i do now. >> reporter: researchers say the bad economy might partly explain why new marriages dropped 5% between 2009 and 2010. but the overall trend has been developing for years across all ageages and ethnic groups. d'vera cohn helped write the pew study using census data. >> people have a lot of options in their lives now. society doesn't disapprove of you if you live alone or live
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with an unmarried partner. >> reporter: it's all pushing up the age of marriage. 40-year-old christopher jenkins, and shino omata, 36, tied the knot in manhattan today, both for the first time. >> i think that anything sooner would have been the wrong person. >> there's still evidence that people want to get married and that they eventually will. >> we'll know when the right time is. right now is not the right time. >> reporter: if current trends continue, within a few years, fewer than half of american adults will be married. bill whitaker, cbs news, los angeles. >> pelley: another interesting note we found in the pew research, 64% of americans with college degrees are married. for those with only high school degrees, just 47% are married. back in 1960, the rates were about equal. marijuana use among teenagers has gone up four years in a row. in a survey, one out of every 15 aol students admitted using marijuana every day or almost daily. that's the highest rate in 30
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years. alcohol use, however, continues to decline. these findings were put out today by the national institute on drug abuse. elizabeth taylor was hollywood royalty, and her jewels just sold for a king's ransom. that's next.
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>> pelley: elizabeth taylor played a queen on the silver screen
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so high they caused the cement in the overpass to explode. it is a city in the middle of nowhere. made up of people who have nowhere else to live. that story is next.
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>> pelley: since the
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ben tracy, cbs news, slab city. >> pelley: that's the cbs evening news. for all of us at cbs news all around the world, good night. [ male announcer ] are you paying more and more for cable
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now, "entertainment tonight," the most watched entertainment newsmagazine in the world. robert wagner ambushed. >> will anyone ever know about the truth of natalie wood's death. >> his first public appearance since the natalie wood death investigation was reopened. plus brad versus george angelina versus stacy. head to head on the red carpet this awards season. and who was snubbed at the s.a.g. awards nomination. behind tim tebow's rise to fame. >> tim tebow is the story by far in nfl this year. >> is he sing snl "e.t." tackles the all-american football hero's


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